The Great Gatsby Reviews
Robert redford really was made for the role of Gatsby, Mia farrow, well a little over the top maybe but that was Daisy in the book.
Now, I will point out that I did not like "The Great Gatsby" book at all. It was boring, filled with bland dialogue, & realistic, yet somewhat likable asshole characters. Oh but this movie, I'm sorry, it is surprisingly worse than the book, & ten times more boring. I swear when we watched this movie in my literature class, I almost fell asleep. This could possibly cure my insomnia.
The best way to describe this movie is a film with the same characters reciting the exact same lines as the book. And another way to put this film so gently for you is nothing more than a bad porn film.
Cast/Acting: The only actor I recognize in this movie, but didn't then, is Sam Waterston from Law & Order. That's pretty much it. The rest of the cast members in here, I don't recognize, & I doubt most will. And to make it simple, the casting choices were pretty much terrible. None of the actors in here looked anything like their characters. As for each of their performances, they were either bland or dreadful or under-dramatic. Robert Redford (Gatsby) looked bored & constipated throughout the whole movie. Mia Farrow (Daisy) had her voice terribly dubbed, & that's not even the problem, her dubbing was not only bad, but the performance she gave was just bland, under-dramatic, & laughable. Sam Waterston (Nick) gave a boring performance, & his narration was just garbage. The same goes for everyone else. And to finish this off, Karen Black (Myrtle) played her role almost fine, but her acting seemed way to over dramatic, & almost makes me wonder if she really was crazy & not her own character.
Characters: Like in the original book, the characters are all realistic, but they remain almost the same assholes & idiots as well. Tom is nothing more than a bitch. Daisy is a clueless whore. Myrtle is also a whore, but a crazy-ass one. George is an ignorant dumbass. Jordan, I can't talk crap on her because she was probably the only one I truly liked, but her role was minor, & she was actually more beautiful than Daisy. And let's admit it, in the end, if not throughout the whole movie, Nick & Gatsby were gay for each other. Ain't I right?
Plot/Story: The story & plot stay the same as the book; Gatsby wants Daisy to leave her asshole husband, Tom, & come with him. While Nick tries to help out, only he's mostly useless. So yeah, this is almost a typical romantic drama. But as I stated above, this movie was pretty much nothing more than a bad porn film with the characters reading the lines from the book.
Dialogue: Do I really have to say it again? The dialogue, if I remember correctly, is the same damn words taken from the book, & recited in the most bland ways by the actors.
Chemistry: There is more chemistry between Nick & Gatsby than there is between Gatsby & Daisy, & Tom & Daisy. Enough said.
How true it is to it's source: This movie is true & loyal to it's source, unlike other movies that only took 3% of the book & made it into trash (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). But it is a little too true. They kept the same formula, dialogue, & script, not bothering to improve on a few things. Heck, they removed one character, & as well as the library scene in Gatsby's house. But I can't complain, not every movie can fit everything from the book.
So all in all, this movie may appeal to your parents, for it's pretty much pornography for your own mom, but it won't appeal to others as much. The book is a fine piece of American literature, it is, but it's just boring, & I hated it. You're better off reading the book than watching the movie.
Hopefully, the re-adaption directed by Baz Luhrnamm, & starring Leonardo DiCaprio (despite my loathing towards him) will do a better job.
Glamorized, riddled with thematic depth and more dramatically manufactured than realist, F. Scott Fitzgerald's original vision is nothing short of a bonafide melodrama, and there's nothing wrong with that, if, of coure, you know how to work with the melodrama with effective genuineness, something that I'd imagine Fitzgerald nailed, as this film won't exactly let you know, as screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola and director Jack Clayton lose much of the genuineness of the source material in translation, thus leaving many of the melodramatic attributes to come off as too artificial and, in quite a few cases, fall flat as hardly buyable. Coppola's surprising lack of subtlety and Clayton's occasionally overbearing atmosphere glamorize the subject matter with an overambitious lack of dramatic delicacy, which not only leaves the degree disingenuousness of the melodrama to go heavily pronounced, but makes the artificial plotting all the worse through artificial, unsubtle resonance that toys desperately with your emotions until the emotional rise that the film keeps begging for finally go repelled. As I'll touch more upon later, there is indeed the occasional piece of genuine emotional resonance, or at least the occasional moment in which the resonance's manipulative efforts prove fruitful, yet on the whole, there is a kind of distance to the emotional resonance, or at least when emotional resonance does, in fact, rise. With all of my going on and on about the dramatic manufacturing and problematically overwhelming efforts for emotional rise, the film's biggest problems comes from what isn't done atmospherically, because, all too often, atmospheric kick dies and the film finds itself turning cold, bland and altogether considerably disengaging, and that, combined with the disingenuousness that breaks up the long periods of lifelessness, does enough damage to momentum, without the pacing issues. The film is paceless and falls as a slave to its hefty runtime, limping along for nearly two-and-a-half hours, and when such a pacing issue goes married with quietness and the aforementioned atmospheric coldness, considerable slowness is spawned and finds itself descending into dullness about as often as it descends into simple blanding steadiness. The film is rarely too terribly dull and is never really all that boring, yet things limp along much too often and give you enough time to meditate on the dramatic mishaps and other missteps that bland up this promising project so much that, by the time the film concludes, you find yourself walking away from a near-two-and-a-half-hour major adaptation of a legendary piece of classic dramatic literature with not much worth remembering, thus making for an underwhelming execution of a worthy vision. Of course, as flawed and improvable as this film is, it's not without its strengths, and quite a few of them, for although I wish I could say that the film hits nearly as hard as it should have and could have, the film sustains your attention more often than not, or at least your eyes with all of its glamour.
If nothing else is gotten right with this film, then it is, of course, the glamour, and for success at spectacle, this film owes quite a bit of credit to the design team, whose production designs are cleverly intricate, dazzling and rich with livliness that may not exactly rival the quality of the production designs of something like, say, "Moulin Rouge!" (Seriously, Baz, don't let us down in 2013), yet catches your eye time and again, largely because Douglas Slocombe sure knows how to make things pretty. Attached to a 1974 film, Slocombe's photographic efforts have of course dated quite a bit, yet even to this day, you'd be hard pressed to deny the lovliness of the cinematography, which emphasizes lighting with an elegantyl dreamlike intensity, flaunts color with grace and is sometimes slickly staged to where environment is boasted stylishly and engagingly, thus the film is left standing as, if nothing else, a worthy style piece. As for the substance, again, the subject matter is handled messily, with cold blandness that goes broken up by a disconcering lack of subtlety, but really, there's no denying that Fitzgerald had crafted a worthy and intriguing tale with nifty thematic and dramatic weight that is not given the justice it deserves with this or, reportedly, any other adaptation, yet stands as valuable enough to spawn immediate intrigue. Such intrigue gives this film quite a bit of charm and engagement value, and when Jack Clayton finally hits his mark, the intrigue intensifies, for although Clayton, time and again, faults with the subject matter's dramatic possibilities, there come occasions in which he truly does spark life into the film when he needs to most, which gives you a taste of what this film could have been and refreshes your investment in the final product, whose effective moments wouldn't be as engaging as they ultimately are if they weren't backed by the acting, or at least some of it, as there are a few secondary or even tertiary performances that fall as subpar, with a certain major performance falling flat much more than it should. By 1974, alone, the lovely Mia Farrow had established herself as a talented thespian, yet with this film that relies so heavily upon her, while she is very much pretty enough to earn some degree of your attention, she slips up, and pretty glaringly, for although the iconic Daisy Buchanan character is supposed be melodramatically lively, Farrow goes over the top with her melodramatic overacting, while getting to be rather uneven in her presence, and comes off as disoncertingly artificial, and by extension, as hardly a compelling character, and her lame Southern belle accent doesn't help, or at least when she remembers to use it. Of course, outside of Farrow and a couple of other improvable female-I mean, much less major performances, the acting is commendable, with the underused Scott Wilson stealing the final act with engrossing emotional intensity, Sam Waterston charming as a very effectively human audience avatar, Bruce Dern engrossing as an effective dirtbag of an antagonist and, of course, Robert Redford engaging with subtle emotional involvement to his presence as the titular Jay Gatsby, a charming yet flawed soul tainted by his own ambition. The final product holds a lot of potential and not a whole lot of power, undercutting its potential and ambition time and again, yet compensating for most every with spectacles and moments of true inspiration that breathe enough life into the film to make it an enjoyable one, even with its share of mishaps.
Overall, the film's worthy subject matter's melodramatic depth goes overemphasized time and again, and made all the worse by moments of emotional manipulation, or at least all of this is the case when atmosphere actually has some juice to it, as the film is all too often cold and dry, with considerable slowness that blands things up and helps in making the final product underwhelming, yet not so much so that it renders the film incapable of keeping you going, for although the film is improvable, its production designs are fine, as is its visual style, and its subject matter is worthy and brought to life enough by inspired moments in direction and acting to make Jack Clayton's "The Great Gatsby" a generally enjoyable take on F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic vision, even if there is ultimately much to be desired.
2.5/5 - Fair